Tag Archives: Marc Emery

Ahead of marijuana legalization, activists call on feds to forgive past pot offences


Travis Lupick on April 12th, 2017 at 11:23 AM

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The federal Liberal government is expected to table legislation to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday (April 13), exactly one week ahead of the world’s annual 4/20 celebration of all things cannabis.

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The proposed law will be debated in Parliament. Then it’s likely that each province and territory will require some time to work out regulatory details.

In the meantime, long-time advocates for marijuana reform want to know if Ottawa has any plans to provide relief on past offences.

Just last month, Canada’s most prominent marijuana advocates, Jodie Emery and her husband, Marc, were charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of the proceeds of crime.

In a telephone interview, Jodie said that once the new laws come into effect, she wants the federal government to look at expunging records of crimes that are no longer crimes.

“We should have amnesty, pardons, and an official apology from the government,” she told the Straight.

Other advocates have made similar calls.

“A great way for Justin Trudeau to show leadership on cannabis would be to announce amnesty for simple possession when tabling new law,” Victoria lawyer Kirk Tousaw posted in an April 11 message on Twitter.

At the same time, Jodie painted a bleak picture of how she predicts the Liberals’ regulatory framework for marijuana will work.

“We know the government will not apologize for prohibition because we know they intend to maintain it,” she said. “The form of legalization that they are going to put forward is really just an economic opportunity for a select few people while everybody else continues to be arrested….Growers and dispensaries will continue to be criminalized and they will introduce even tougher penalties for people operating outside the legal system.”

The Straight asked Justin Trudeau about amnesty at a campaign stop in Vancouver in August 2015.

“That’s something that we’ll be looking into as we move forward,” he said. “There has been many situations over history when laws come in that overturn previous convictions, and there will be a process for that that we will set up in a responsible way.”

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Toronto dispensaries once owned by the Prince of Pot will all shut down this weekend


A former Cannabis Culture location, renamed the Village Dispensary, on Church Street will close its doors this weekend.

 

After police raids, former owner Jodie Emery says government is clearing way for legal producers

CBC News Posted: Apr 07, 2017 11:20 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 08, 2017 10:20 AM ET

The last of the former Cannabis Culture dispensaries in Toronto, once synonymous with Marc and Jodie Emery, will close this weekend after becoming a frequent target of police raids — a consequence the marijuana activists blame on the government’s support of licensed producers. 

The dispensaries were making pot available in contravention of the law, until recreational marijuana is actually legalized by the government, a process expected to happen in July 2018.

But former owner Jodie Emery said she believes dispensaries in Toronto have been raided more frequently in the past year because the federal Liberals want to keep the recreational weed market clear for the licensed producers already selling medical marijuana. 

“We’re seeing a government and corporate push to exclude the pioneers, to literally put us in handcuffs and throw us into cages while they move in to open up their own shops to sell their own pot.”

Mtl Pot Dispensaries 20161215

Jodie Emery, right, said the raids on recreational dispensaries have punished the activists who have fought for legalization. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The pioneers of pot

The Emerys divested themselves of their Cannabis Culture shops in Toronto on March 10, as part of their $30,000 bail conditions on possession and drug trafficking charges. 

Jodie Emery said the couple decided to open the storefronts to fund their activism — and because she believed the franchise model would be successful once Ottawa legalized pot. 

“We wanted to have our spot in this industry, because we’ve earned it and we deserve it …after 10 years of being broke and suffering through prison and court,” she said.

Jamie McConnell, Cannabis Culture general manager

Jamie McConnell, the owner at the Village Dispensary, said he’ll keep doing this somewhere else. (CBC)

The 461 Church St. location was reborn as the Village Cannabis Dispensary after the Emerys sold it to Jamie McConnell, the store’s former manager.

McConnell said his landlord will no longer rent to the dispensary, something he said has happened because of pressure from the police raids and the city.

“I was planning on being here forever, my goal was jail or the landlord locking me out. It looks like the landlord locked me out.”

He said he believes it’s better to have marijuana “activists and users” sell the products than licensed producers, because they know first-hand what makes a quality product.

“I don’t know what the government’s going to do as far as legalization, but I’m not going to stop.”

Legal producers also took risks: lawyer

But Andrea Hill, a corporate and securities lawyer with the firm SkyLaw who represents several regulated marijuana firms, said the dispensaries have been shut down because what they’re doing is illegal. It has nothing to do with the regulated medical marijuana industry.

And those licensed producers have been pioneers in the industry as well, she said. 

“They’ve put themselves on the line just as much as anyone else,” the lawyer said. “If a business is operating outside of the law and it can’t make it and it has to shut down I think that means that the law wins — and that people who play by the rules win, at the end of the day. I think that’s a good thing.

CANADA MARIJUANA/REGULATIONS

The Liberal government is expected to make recreational pot legal by July 1, 2018. (Julie Gordon/Reuters)

Corrections
  • An earlier version of this story indicated that recreational marijuana is expected to be legalized by the federal government this July. In fact, it is expected in July 2018.

    Apr 08, 2017 8:23 AM ET

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‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery Faces Possible Life in Prison


By Jason Sander – Apr 3, 2017

prince-of-pot-marc-emery-faces-possible-life-in-prison

AP

If there’s any living cannabis activist who has earned the term ‘The Prince of Pot’, it’s Marc Emery. He and his wife Jodie own the Cannabis Culture brand in Canada and have been doing their part to end marijuana prohibition for over twenty years. Because of his activism, Emery willingly made himself a target and has paid the price for doing so. Now, he could face possible life in prison.

Marc faces fifteen charges, including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery faces five similar counts. Officers stole more than 65 kilograms of cannabis and 2.4 kilograms of extract. Police also took $250,000 in cash in several currencies after raiding Cannabis Culture stores across Canada, as well as several homes.

The Emerys were granted bail in a Toronto courtroom in early March, with several harsh conditions – including being barred from going to any Cannabis Culture location or other dispensary, and from facilitating or participating in running any Cannabis Culture shop. There are a total of 19 dispensaries in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec using the Cannabis Culture brand.

“This is my 30th arrest,” Emery said, hearing cheers from his supporters that were gathered outside Old City Hall.

Despite all of his personal sacrifices, Emery seems optimistic about the future of cannabis legalization.

“I’ve been raided six times, and yet, over all these years, we’ve made progress,” he said, in reference to his decades-long mission to see cannabis legalized.

In typical prohibitionist fashion, Steve Watts of the Toronto Drug Squad alleged to the Toronto Star that the Cannabis Culture franchises must have been getting their weed inventory from “illegitimate sources often tied to organized crime,” due to the high volume of cannabis they sell.

This type of narrative is often used to draw an association with organized crime in the minds of people who don’t know any better. The reality is very different. Marc has always been open about his marijuana businesses. He always paid income taxes on his seed sales, showing “marijuana seed vendor” as his occupation on tax returns.

“We’ve been on the front lines of legalization advocacy for twenty-plus years,” Jodie Emery said. “Legalization is coming, and it’s because of people like us, and for us to face these incredibly unjust penalties and punishments is just wrong.”

After being arrested thirty times and already spending five years in the U.S. prison system, Marc now faces possible life in prison for his current charges. He could also be forced to forfeit all of his assets. Emery, like others who are locked up for possession, could be in prison when his dream of legalization finally comes to pass. The hypocrisy of the failed War on Drugs knows no bounds.

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She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis…


Pushing for legalization: Alabama housewife to marijuana activist

https://i2.wp.com/www.tokeofthetown.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Loretta20Nall20crop20842983049_l.jpg

By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 29, 2017 at 7:31 AM, updated March 29, 2017 at 10:20 AM

Loretta Nall remembers the first time she smoked marijuana.

“I was about 12 years old at a Ratt/Queensreich concert at the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex),” Nall, who grew up in the east Alabama town of Ashland, said in an interview with AL.com.

That was 30 years ago and since then Nall has become one of the most outspoken advocates for the legalization of pot in the nation.

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis.

Nall says she wasn’t always an activist and there were periods when she didn’t smoke weed – particularly when she was pregnant with her two children.

Until 2002, Nall had been a housewife and mother with only a few minor traffic violations, hadn’t thought about running for office, and wasn’t public in her outcry for the legalization of pot. But two things happened that year that would change that.

It was in 2002 that she connected online with Marc Emery, dubbed Canada’s “Prince of Pot.”

Nall said that in 2002 Emery asked her to come up to Canada and meet. “Within a week of my returning I had helicopters buzzing my house and (police on) ATVs in my yard,” she said.

Law enforcement told her they saw marijuana growing on her property, Nall said. But there wasn’t any, she said.

Nall believes that law enforcement converged on her property because she had visited Emery, who she said was near the top of federal drug agents’ watch list.

At that time, however, police didn’t try to search her house – at least not right away.

Soon after the raid, Nall sent a letter to the editor at The Birmingham News pushing for legalization of pot. It was titled: “Going to pot, and so what?” She wrote that not all marijuana users fit the “stereotypical stoner-without-a-clue image.”

Lobbying against sin: Baptist leader ready to fight marijuana

The Rev. Joe Godfrey is Alabama’s point man when it comes to lobbying against sin.

“We are not criminals who rob, steal or otherwise cause harm to the fabric of society, and it is time to stop treating us as if we were,” Nall wrote in 2002, long before states began to break with federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana. “It is time to demand an end to cannabis prohibition and the harsh drug laws that do more harm to society than the drug itself will ever do. It is time for change.” 

Six days after that letter to the editor appeared police returned with a search warrant, finding rolling papers, a scale and 0.87 grams of marijuana inside her mobile home.

“I think I was the first one to get the media’s attention (for pot legalization),” Nall said. “They (police) turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children and violating my first amendment rights.”

Loretta Nall: Alabama Marijuana Advocate

A Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s investigator who had secured the search warrant for Nall’s home denied after the raid that the warrant was based on Nall’s letter to the editor. “Of course, it didn’t help her out any,” said the investigator, who would not say where the information for the search warrant did come from.

Nall was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

She appealed and in April 2007 a judge dismissed her conviction because prosecutors failed to respond to Nall’s motion to suppress evidence seized in the 2002 raid.

Police used her letter to the editor in The Birmingham News as reason for the search, Nall says.

She became a guest host for segments on Emery’s online Pot TV show for about 2 1/2 years. The role included making trips around the country to cover pot-related news.

“She got all fired up,” Emery said of Nall in a recent interview with AL.com. “She has always been an advocate for legalization in a very inhospitable state.”

It’s always tough to advocate for legalization in a red state and particularly in the Bible Belt, Emery added. But, he said, “at no point does the Bible advocate against cannabis,” he said.

In 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to federal charges in the United States. He was sentenced to five years for manufacturing marijuana. Among the  allegations were that he shipped marijuana seeds over the border into the United States. He was released in 2014. And two months ago he was arrested by Montreal police after opening six illegal marijuana dispensaries around that city, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper. His trial is pending on that case.

“They turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children ..” – Loretta Nall

Meanwhile, Canada this spring will likely consider legislation to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

In 2002, when Nall formed and became the first president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, recreational marijuana was banned in all states. Today eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. More than half the country has legalized marijuana for medical use and surveys show most Americans believe marijuana should be legal.

Nall’s party has also expanded with the changing attitudes. Today the group lists active chapters in 17 states. Yet Alabama isn’t one of them.

Nall left the group in 2004 but she said she still acts as an adviser. She later entered the race for Governor of Alabama in 2006 with the Libertarian party. Her top platform issue was legalization of marijuana.

Nall ran a colorful campaign that got national attention. Campaign materials included a photo of the woman displaying her ample cleavage above the words ”More of these boobs.” Below were photos of other candidates, including Gov. Bob Riley, and the words ”And less of these boobs.”

Her campaign sold bosomed-themed T-shirts, ”stash boxes,” and ”anti-state” thong underwear.

Nall, however, couldn’t get her name on Alabama ballots because the Libertarian Party couldn’t get the required 40,000 signatures. So she ran a write-in campaign. She said she got about 2,500 votes of the write-ins that were counted.

After the election Nall continued to write for Cannabis Culture magazine (a Marc Emery publication) and briefly branched her activism into another issue. In 2007, after Alabama outlawed the sale of sex toys,  Nall started a “Sex Toys for Troy King” drive that included her sending an inflatable pig to the then Alabama attorney general’s office.

Nall also started the Alabamian Compassionate Care group and pushed the Alabama Legislature for the passage of the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act in 2010. After that failed she pushed for it again in 2012.

That act was designed to protect from arrest and prosecution physicians who recommend marijuana and patients who use marijuana as medicine, Nall wrote in a 2012 op-ed piece for The Birmingham News.

Nall noted that other laws allowing limited medical use of marijuana were approved by state legislators in recent years. Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law, approved in 2016, allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol, a product derived from marijuana plants.

“Anything like that is progress,” Nall said. But, she said, “there are lots of people that doesn’t apply to that can’t get any help.”

Still, Nall hopes one day the state will legalize recreational use of marijuana in Alabama. “We’re still way behind,” Nall said.

“I’m still in favor of the legalization of marijuana … Retail sales. The whole nine yards, like has been done in (other states),” Nall said. “You ought to be able to grow at home like you do tomatoes.”

Nall, however, agrees that there needs to be age limitations on it use.

Only when voters make state legislators change direction or the legislators see the tax money that’s to be had will Alabama ever get recreational pot, Nall said. “My money’s on the money,” she said.

By legalizing pot, it might keep people from getting addicted to opiates and other harder drugs. “Going to drug dealers (for pot) exposes them to harder drugs,” she said.

Alabama also could see an increase in taxes from the legalized sale of pot, Nall said. That money could be spent by the state on issues such as prison reform and Medicaid funding, she said.

Nall noted Colorado’s collection of millions of dollars in taxes on marijuana sales.

Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold nearly $1 billion worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to a story from The Cannabist, an offshoot publication of The Denver Post.

Colorado collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015, of which more than $35 million was earmarked for school construction projects, according to The Cannabist.

Right now people who are arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession are often placed in drug courts where they have to pay high court costs and fees and prevent people from keeping a job, Nall said.

Personal issues have kept her out of the spotlight over the past five or so years, Nall said. That has included shedding an opiate addiction, she said.

Her addiction began after she had a “pretty bad” broken foot in 2007, Nall said.

After foot surgery, she was given the narcotic Percocet for pain. “All I can tell you it was a love affair from day one,” she said.

Nall said she has been “clean” for two years now from the opiate addiction.  

Nall wants the public to know that her use of marijuana wasn’t to blame for her opiate addiction. “I didn’t start opiates because I smoked weed. I started because I broke my foot,” Nall said.

“Suboxone and marijuana helped me recover from opiate addiction,” Nall said.

Nall, 42, is currently working as a 24-hour a day care-giver in the small Coosa County town of Kellyton, which is near Alexander City.

Asked if she was concerned that giving an interview might bring more trouble for her, she replied: “There’s no one on earth who doesn’t know I smoke weed.”

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Moving Beyond Cannabis Culture: An Interview with Jodie Emery


By Jon Hiltz on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:20 am

6 ways

 

It’s impossible to look at the history of marijuana activism in Canada and not think of Marc and Jodie Emery. Their decades-long fight with the powers that be have culminated into a good part of the reason we are heading toward adult-use cannabis across the nation.

Throughout this battle, they have lost everything, and regained it again, just to lose it once more. The perfect example of this would be the four years Marc Emery spent in a U.S. prison for openly selling mail-order seeds across the border.

Canada’s unwillingness to stop this extradition of a nonviolent “criminal” was a stark example of a government not supportive of the needs of cannabis users everywhere.

Now, we are at a point where Canada is scheduled to legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older. Despite that fact, the Emerys have once again been targeted by authorities; and this time, the government has taken away a most precious possession — their life’s work.

This week, as part of their bail conditions, Marc and Jodie have been forced to cut all ties with their brand Cannabis Culture.

Yesterday, Marijuana.com reported the facts on the ground as Jodie Emery headed to Vancouver to remove herself as director of the company. Once that task was complete Jodie took the time to speak with us about the reality she and her husband must confront.


What does it feel like to hand over something that you essentially put your blood, sweat and tears into?

When I moved to Vancouver in 2004 I wanted to do activism so I started working with Marc Emery at Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV. In 2005, I was made the Assistant Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. I spent every day slaving away over that beautiful print publication and also engaging in activism because that very same year Marc was facing life in prison. I took great pride in what I did.

It’s not just a magazine, a head shop, a vapour lounge or dispensaries, it’s an idea of what legalization looks like. It’s a mission statement for people who believe that we shouldn’t go to prison for a plant. So, it is deeply upsetting to have to give up my involvement with what really has been my identity since I became an adult.

Now that you are free and clear of your business obligations, what are your next steps?

Marc and I are going to do a cross-Canada tour, because we need to have a marijuana truth tour. Right now [MP] Bill Blair is going across Canada and telling all of the police to enforce the [current] laws.

We need to educate the public on the facts about marijuana and remind them that this is a civil liberties issue. We have to make sure no one is being arrested anymore before people are able to profit. We need to talk about how marijuana is a safer choice for recreational consumption than alcohol and talk about the opioid crisis which is extremely newsworthy right now because so many people are dying.

How is Marc handling all this? I know he spent years locked up in a U.S. prison, which by comparison is much harsher, but how is he taking the loss of Cannabis Culture?

Marc is very used to this. He has been arrested, raided and jailed so many times. Marc has had everything taken from him numerous times and he always comes back, builds up again and fights for the cause.

He’s taking it well and he is giving me a hard time because I haven’t been arrested and put in jail before, except for Montreal, but I was arrested for four hours at a hotel, not too hard. This time I actually went to jail so I experienced what people go through and that was upsetting.

At the same time, Marc is wondering what to do next. He’s had many decades of work behind him and he’s tired of all this prohibition nonsense. I’m sure he would like to finally just retire and relax.

Are you concerned about your charges? Do you think they will be dropped?

My concern about our charges is that they’re conspiracy charges. That is a very broad charge to lay on somebody because you don’t even need to commit a crime to be found guilty. The fact that three people agree to break the law makes a conspiracy. They have chosen a very easy way to give us tough punishments and these allegations are very serious.

This government very much wants to shut us up, since they were unable to do so even when they called in the U.S. government to do it for them [through Marc’s previous sentence]. Our [case] will be in the court for a number of years and we do intend to fight it to the fullest. That will probably include a Charter challenge, where we will try to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge the validity of prohibition entirely.

Do you think that the severity of the charges against you were because you were selling adult-use cannabis to anyone 19 or older, as opposed to at the very least, only selling to those with a prescription?

[Our]  stores being for 19+ adults and not pretending to be recreational was groundbreaking and a lot of people thought we were very courageous to do that.

It was something we wanted to do differently than everyone, but we were also addressing the concern people had about Canadians faking their illnesses or paying doctors for access. We thought we could just do away from that model, which was half farce and half unfairness for those who are [actually] sick.

We said time and time again, this is what legalization looks like. For the government and the licensed producers and police, they don’t like that model of legalization. They don’t want people to see that vision, they want people to accept their limited oligopoly.

We don’t have a liquor registry where if you want to drink booze you have to sign up with the government and give them your information, but for marijuana right now that’s what they are doing.

For myself, part of my bail conditions say that I have to use government-approved marijuana medically if I am going to possess any marijuana. In a very sad irony, what they are doing to me is what they are trying to do to Canada.

Do you have hope that things will change? Do you think that when adult-use marijuana comes into play that the government will have listened and that dispensaries will be a part of the mix?

It will take a lot of engagement for people to change the rules. Once it’s legal federally, it’s going to be up to the provinces and municipalities to do most of the regulating. We are going to need people to engage with their provincial governments to tell them what kind of model of distribution we should have.

Change will come, but it only comes when you keep pushing and campaigning. If you sit back and wait they will never do anything. That’s why it’s so important to push the envelope.

So to end on a happy note, what is your fondest memory of running Cannabis Culture?

The people. The wonderful love that we all have for this plant and this culture. It is almost spiritual in a way. It’s a calling that we know this plant is not just a simple little garden flower or vegetable.

We know that cannabis can help save lives. It can prevent people from dying, from sickness, or hard drugs. It’s endless the way this plant can truly help people. It sounds insane, but it’s more true than any god that I have ever heard of.


As Canada edges closer to some form of adult use cannabis, however that may emerge, the Emery’s will do everything in their power to ensure Canadians are given the access they deserve.

It’s clearly not just about being able to get high in peace, it’s about what we are allowed to do as adults in a free society. From Jodie’s point of view, marijuana may be the focus, but freedom to choose is and always has been the ultimate goal.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

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When They Try to Bury Us, They Forget That We Are Seeds (Cannabis Culture has a new Editor and Info on Marc & Jodie Emery)


By dankres on March 10, 2017

 

Hi there.

I’m DanKres (pronounced: Dank- Rez). I am the new Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. I accept this job with full respect for the effort it demands, the sacrifices made by our movement’s trailblazers and the relentless joy of inclusion in this tribe.

You are all badasses and I am happy to be counted among your numbers.

Yesterday, the office of our magazine and the Pot TV studio was raided by members of the Vancouver Police Department. Production computers were seized, archives breached and the personal laptop of one of my colleagues, stolen.

CCHQ, the head shop next door to our studio, was also raided. The locks were cut from the security gate, the doors forced open and windows obstructed with paper before any of our staff had arrived at work. When the people came to do their jobs, they were forcibly blocked from entry. Police seized files, computers, iPods, and cell phones (many of these taken from the lost & found). Our vapor lounge, a safe space of 18+ public congregation, was also ransacked. Art was removed from the walls, property smashed and in a heartless tragedy, the four cats who live there were traumatized.

No arrests were made in Vancouver, nor were any charges laid. It was a smash and grab. A fear tactic committed by bullies nearly two years after the voting public declared their support for a campaign platform founded on an end to cannabis prohibition. And it happened in a community where 147 people overdosed on prescription opioids last week, 14 of them fatally. These lives were cut short, and perhaps if they had been encouraged to share in the jam nights, yoga and positive vibes of our space some of this loss of life could have been prevented. There are no overdoses at CCHQ, yet the police are too busy displaying their might in a peaceful place to protect or serve those dying in the streets.

The only question now is, why?

As near as I can figure, and the evidence supports it. Their motive is control and compliance with the rules, even after the public has declared those rules obsolete. This is about creating a climate conducive to monopoly and big business. It is not about protecting children from the cannabis boogeyman or discouraging organized crime. It is about branding scarlet letters on all those who do not strictly adhere to the system imposed upon us. Their power was granted by the people, and now the people have realized they were lied to. Prime Minister Trudeau’s post-election victory “hope over fear” statement fuelled headlines nationwide, but through action and inaction, the sentiment has proven as easily dispersed as a puff of smoke exhaled into the high winds of reality.

The attack by the VPD was part of a co-ordinated nationwide politically motivated assault on Cannabis Culture locations in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. The operation was codenamed “Operation Gator,” and in its wake, our founders, Jodie & Marc Emery, as well as three more peaceful people remain imprisoned in Toronto.

Despite all this, today will be business as usual. Our stores are open. Simple, beautiful tasks and pleasant transactions are being completed by kind people in honor of a commitment to freedom from oppression and support for our brethren in unjust bondage.

There is no shame in what we do and infinite power in our solidarity.

Our history is formative, and our audience of millions of people just like you, are critical thinkers who understand a law is not just simply because it is a law. You are and will continue to be respected in all content published here. This magazine was born to fit the needs of people yearning for relevant information, humorous review and expert analysis of the mystical potentials at play in the Cannabis world.

Under my guidance, this mission statement will remain fulfilled.

Stay lifted,

_D

#freejodie #freemarc #stoptheraids #endprohibition #noprisonforpot

 

CONTINUE READING…


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SOURCE LINK


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SOURCE LINK

 


CANADA—UNITED STATES: MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON DRUG ENFORCEMENT

International Legal Materials

Vol. 27, No. 2 (MARCH 1988), pp. 403-409

Published by: American Society of International Law

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20693198

SOURCE LINK

 


 

The DEA is represented in Canada at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. DEA is the single point-of-contact for drug and drug money-laundering investigations overseas. DEA’s role in Canada is to coordinate international drug-trafficking investigations between the United States and Canadian law enforcement. In addition to illicit narcotics and the laundering of proceeds, DEA also investigates the diversion of legitimate pharmaceuticals as well as precursor chemicals needed to manufacture illicit drugs. Both DEA offices in Canada work with Canadians on a full complement of cases while ensuring that our activities are in keeping with Canadian laws and existing agreements.

SOURCE LINK


News Release
For More Information Contact:
Jeffrey M. Eig
Public Information Officer
Seattle Field Division
206-553-1411
July 29, 2005

Prince of Pot” Arrested by US-Canadian Task Force
Major Distributor of Marijuana Federally Indicted in Seattle, Washington

JUL 29–(Seattle, WA) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Halifax Police Department arrested MARC EMERY, 47, of Vancouver, BC, today on a warrant issued from the Western District of Washington in Seattle. EMERY is accused of selling millions of dollars of marijuana seeds over the internet, though the mail, and in person to individuals in the United States and across the globe. The DEA, in an investigation of EMERY has traced his seeds to illegal marijuana crops in Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota. An estimated 75% of the seeds EMERY sells are transported to the United States.

SOURCE LINK


https://www.facebook.com/CCMagazineOnline/photos/a.363024903771506.80549.120844721322860/1401334986607154/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CCMagazineOnline/

http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2017/03/10/try-bury-us-forget-seeds

https://www.facebook.com/marcscottemery

https://www.jstor.org/stable/20693198?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Operation+Gator&tbm=nws&*

Prince of Pot Marc Emery, wife in Toronto court on drug charges


 

Couple who have marijuana shops across Canada charged with drug trafficking, conspiracy, possession

CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2017 8:07 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017 12:52 PM ET

Marc Emery and his wife Jodie Emery were charged on Thursday with drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession after they were arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Jodie and Marc Emery, who is known as the Prince of Pot, are in court at Toronto’s Old City Hall today to face drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession charges.

The Vancouver couple were arrested on Wednesday evening at Pearson International Airport while trying to make their way to a marijuana festival in Europe.

Both the Crown and defence have requested time to review possible bail conditions.The court is discussing whether the couple will be granted bail. The justice of the peace presiding over the hearing fell ill and was taken to hospital.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers in three Canadian cities raided various locations of Cannabis Culture, a chain of marijuana shops owned by the Emerys. Jack Lloyd, a lawyer, is representing the Emerys in Toronto.

 

A police news release said the raids were part of Project Gator, “a Toronto Police Service project targeting marijuana dispensaries.”

Three others were also charged, including the owners of the Toronto location of Cannabis Culture.

Marc Emery, 59, has been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
  • Three counts of trafficking schedule II.
  • Five counts of possession for the purpose schedule II.
  • Five counts of possession proceeds of crime.
  • Fail-to-comply recognizance.

Jodie Emery, 32, has been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
  • Trafficking schedule II.
  • Possession for the purpose schedule II.
  • Two counts of possession proceeds of crime.

Cannabis Culture raid

A police officer is seen outside the Cannabis Culture location on Church Street in Toronto during a raid on the store. (Emma Kimmerly/CBC)

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Marc and Jodie Emery arrested in Toronto amid marijuana dispensary raids across Canada


Police raid a Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensary in Vancouver, B.C. on March 9, 2017.

 

By Adam Miller Online Journalist  Global News

Marc and Jodie Emery, Canada’s self-proclaimed “Prince and Princess of Pot,” have been arrested in Toronto ahead of coordinated raids at their Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensaries across the country.

The couple’s Vancouver-based lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said the marijuana activists were arrested at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Wednesday night and were being held in custody while awaiting bail hearings Thursday.

The Emerys own 19 Cannabis Culture marijuana dispensaries across Canada and Toronto police said Thursday they had executed 11 raids in connection with an investigation targeting the dispensaries — dubbed Project Gator.

Five Cannabis Culture locations in Toronto, one in Hamilton and one in Vancouver were raided and police said a total of five people had been arrested across the country in connection with the investigation.

Vancouver police confirmed to Global News they had raided one Cannabis Culture location in the city in conjunction with the Toronto police investigation. The Ottawa Cannabis Culture dispensary raid was reportedly not connected with the investigation.

Toronto police said they are still determining what charges will be laid, but said search warrants were also executed on two Toronto residences, one in Vancouver and one in Stoney Creek, Ont.

“Make no mistake, this is not about public safety. This is not about protecting the public,” Tousaw said in a statement.

“There is no harm being done by the production and sale of cannabis, for medical or recreational purposes, in storefront dispensaries.”

Marijuana legalization activists Amy Brown and Tracey Curley told Global News outside a Toronto courthouse Thursday they believed the Cannabis Culture locations were being “simultaneously raided.”

“From what we understand, is that various owners of Cannabis Culture franchises are now being arrested,” Curley said.

“Britney Guerra, the owner of Cannabis Culture Hamilton, was just recently arrested at her house in Hamilton.”

Curley said Cannabis Culture franchise owners Chris and Erin Goodwin were also “confronted by police” at the Toronto courthouse while they were waiting to provide bail money for the Emerys.

“They were arrested on site for possession for the purpose of trafficking,” she said. “[We are] a little shocked that it’s happening so fast and so quickly and so many people being affected right now.”

Brown said the arrests of franchise owners were “heartbreaking” but would not affect the operation of the dispensaries going forward.

“The cannabis industry is not going to change. It’s a small bump in the cannabis industry,” she said. “I’m assuming Cannabis Cultures will be back open in the next day or so.”

The Emerys were reportedly travelling to Barcelona, Spain to attend cannabis expo Spannabis, according to a Facebook post by Marc Emery.

Jodie Emery previously said she intended to open her latest location in Ottawa, just steps from the Parliament Buildings.

The 32-year-old recently appeared as a guest on AM980’s The Pulse with Devon Peacock after London Police raided five dispensaries in the city last Thursday.

The raids carried out by London Police took place two days after Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief and current parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, came to London to visit with police leadership and city officials to discuss a regulatory framework for legalizing marijuana in Canada.

In December, 10 people were arrested by police in Montreal after raids on six newly opened Cannabis Culture dispensaries.

In May 2016, Toronto police raided dozens of marijuana dispensaries in the city, seized hundreds of kilograms of marijuana and laid more than 250 charges under an investigation dubbed Project Claudia.

Toronto police said at the time the raids were due to concerns over the “rapid increase of opening of illegal dispensaries” and the “lack of quality control” that could affect public health and safety.

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Prince and princess of pot are expanding their dispensary empire, whether it’s legal or not


Cannibas Culture

 

Sunny Freeman | February 3, 2017

Jodie Emery struts through the hazy hallway of Cannabis Culture’s flagship Toronto store, through a 15-person deep checkout line, and then past the extracts, pre-rolled joints and display jars of bud into the lounge area where a group of pot enthusiasts is sparking up.

It is just after noon on a Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Cannabis Culture owner makes several attempts to call her husband, Marc, a famous marijuana legalization advocate, to wake him up. The Prince of Pot likes to sleep in, she explains, because he works past midnight, which is closing time at his shop in Toronto’s gay village downtown.

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Marc emerges half an hour later. He joins employees behind the counter to recommend strains and weigh portions for the rapidly growing lunchtime rush. Marc is focused on the Toronto flagship locale he owns, while Jodie oversees the franchising and most other aspects of the business. 

“This is what legalization looks like,” Marc said. “That’s exactly what we want to present to the government: You can go and do your rules and your thing and we’re going to do our thing.”

Many in the scene consider the Emerys weed royalty and the couple’s hard-fought decades-long dream of legalization may be on the cusp of fruition. But even as the government pursues legislation to set up a legal recreational market, the question of whether dispensaries such as theirs will be allowed to operate above ground hangs in the air.

Depending on the specific wording of the legislation, Canada’s prince and princess of pot could very well be excluded from the opportunity to earn a legal living in a recreational marijuana market that is expected to be worth as much as $22.6 billion annually.

In the meantime, a plethora of ganjapreneurs are looking to gain a foothold in the coming pot economy through the only current legal path, by becoming a Health Canada licensed medical marijuana producer. Many more are simply opening dispensaries on the sly, hoping to fly under the radar as they count down to legalization.

The Emerys worry licensed producers will monopolize the commercial system, but even if they are shut out, it will not deter the defiant outsiders from their aggressive expansion plans. 

The couple is relatively new to the dispensary business, jumping in less than two years ago with their first store in Vancouver and deciding to expand last year at the request of interested investors.

“When the opportunity came up to start dispensing cannabis I thought why not? If everybody else is doing it why shouldn’t we after all we’ve done?” Jodie said.

It’s a decision that has paid off so far. The crowd at Cannabis Culture’s flagship dispensary was just an average weekday, and sales spike on weekends. This location, one of 18 franchises, can pull in between $30,000 and $40,000 a day.

One man calls out to Jodie to say he’s one of her 38,000 Twitter followers. Another guy thanks Marc for his years of sacrifice to the cause, which include a five-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison.

For a guy who sometimes gives pot away for free, Marc keeps a keen eye on performance metrics and knows the exact headcount of customers they had last Friday: 1,783.

“You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that’s a good cash-flow business,” he said.

It could be even better if dispensaries like his become legal.

A task force report on legalization has recommended the government allow storefront locations in addition to the current mail-order system and acknowledged a majority of people who participated in the consultation process prefer a distribution system that includes dispensaries.

Related

Yet it remains unclear whether new government legislation will allow a place for the 400 or so dispensaries already operating.

The shops, most of which maintain at least an ostensible medical purpose, argue that they fill a gap for consumers by providing in-person advice, fostering competition and keeping prices low.

Marc has set an ambitious goal of opening 200 locations by the end of 2017, whether they are legal or not.

“Those questions to me are irrelevant, we just do what we do. We’re going to keep doing it. As long as the law is wrong we will disobey,” Marc said. “After prison, I didn’t want to be relegated to irrelevancy so I had to take the lead in provoking the authorities by opening up retail shops.”

And provoke he does.

Marc was most recently arrested just before Christmas, when cops raided six Cannabis Culture locations in Montreal, the day after he made a splashy debut in the city by bestowing free “nugs,” or marijuana buds, on throngs of admirers. Similarly, the flagship Toronto location opened a day after raids shuttered dispensaries across the city last May.

How police handle dispensaries varies widely across in the country, no more so than in the country’s two biggest markets. Vancouver has opted for a licensing system while Toronto police continue to crack down and raid dispensaries, citing public safety concerns.

Emery wears his 289 arrests, eight raids and five years in prison as a badge of honour. After all, the raids attract media attention and that attracts even more customers.

“Raids are just part of doing business. They’re annoying and they certainly set you back, but ultimately the police are wrong and we’re right,” he said.

Raid-related expenses, including covering the costs of lawyers for any employees who get arrested, have been built into the cost of doing business.

Those questions to me are irrelevant, we just do what we do. We’re going to keep doing it. As long as the law is wrong we will disobey

Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia NetworkMarc and Jodie Emery’s Cannabis Culture store on Church Street in Toronto. The couple, considered pot royalty, can’t keep up with the requests they have for franchise licences for their business model.

But the Emerys also have to think about the more mundane aspects of growing a franchise business, such as how much of a cut they should take. Jodie has been studying the Subway sandwich model and working with a franchise lawyer to help figure it out.

Cannabis Culture’s model asks for a $10,000 investment up front, plus a royalty of six per cent for the first six months, rising to seven per cent afterward. But she thinks they might be lowballing it. Subway, by contrast, asks for $15,000 upfront and a 12.5-per-cent royalty each month.

Cannabis Culture franchises can take in anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000 a day depending on their location, but about 60 per cent of that goes back into the stores, mostly toward buying new product, Jodie said.

Like all dispensaries, Cannabis Culture currently operates outside the law, so the Emerys have established their own guidelines: they don’t record customer information, do not require a doctor’s note and ask customers to show ID to prove they are over 19.

HST is tacked on to all prices and payroll taxes are collected, Marc said. He estimates they have turned over about half a million in taxes to the government.

The details of their supply chain are, somewhat understandably, sketchy. Jodie said much of the product comes from brokers who get it from those with medical growing licences. Many of the connections have stood for decades.

She equates the growers to farmers at a local market. They are proud of their product and would like to come forward, but prohibition forces them to stay in the dark.

Product quality is mostly assessed by a sight and smell test by store employees. But bigger locations such as the flagship store owned by Marc work with a lab to test strains for pesticides, mold and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in pot, and cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient said to have therapeutic effects. The tests can cost about $150 each, prohibitively expensive for most small-time operators.

My feeling is if I am not allowed to sell marijuana after all the work I’ve done this far, then who does have that right?

Tyler Anderson/National Post

Tyler Anderson/National PostMarc Emery, owner of Cannabis Culture, speaks with customers at his store on Church Street in Toronto. Like all dispensaries, Cannabis Culture currently operates outside the law.

Despite some unusual costs factored into the underground business, interest in Cannabis Culture and the Emerys runs high among investors — a diverse group that includes fellow activists as well as deep-pocketed business-types — who don’t seem to be deterred by dispensaries’ questionable legal status.

“‘I’ve got hundreds of franchise request emails coming in from all across Canada and even the U.S.,” Jodie said. “People are begging and I can’t even get back to them.”

Cannabis Culture’s brash business style irks some other dispensary owners worried that the Emerys’ in-your-face promotion style could turn off Canadians who are on the fence about legalization and the role of dispensaries within the system.

But Jodie is dismissive of their critics: “They’re looking at Cannabis Culture with a bit of green in their eyes saying you guy are big corporate cannabis now.”

Meanwhile, the Emerys are also feeling squeezed from the publicly traded licensed producers that they believe are trying to monopolize marijuana and shut them out of a free market. The Emerys say the market is big enough for all types of players — especially theirs.

“We’ve paid our dues. My feeling is if I am not allowed to sell marijuana after all the work I’ve done this far, then who does have that right?” Marc said. “And I don’t believe anybody else has that right over me.”

Financial Post

sfreeman@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/sunnyfreeman

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The Cult of Marc Emery


 

MarcJodie-YazooPrison-01

Marc Emery is commonly known as the ‘Prince of Pot,’ which is a title he got from years of pot activism and, of course, pot smoking. Beyond his protesting, which got him arrested more than a few times, Marc Emery was a successful weed-seed seller, which became a lucrative business quite quickly. His cash flow got him noticed by the DEA, who extradited him from Vancouver to the US, where Marc was sentenced to five years in prison. 28 hours after his release, VICE’s Damian Abraham went to meet up with Marc at his welcome home party in Toronto. We also met with his co-accused, ‘Marijuana Man,’ and his wife Jodie, back at the Cannabis Culture HQ in Vancouver. This is the Cult of Marc Emery.

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